Tourette syndrome (TS) is a diagnosis that doctors make after verifying that the patient has had both motor and vocal tics for at least one year. The existence of other neurological or psychiatric conditions like childhood-onset involuntary movement disorders, such as dystonia; or psychiatric disorders characterized by repetitive behaviors/movements (for example, stereotypic behaviors in autism and compulsive behaviors in obsessive-compulsive disorder-OCD), can also help doctors arrive at a diagnosis. Common tics are diagnosed easily by knowledgeable clinicians. However, atypical symptoms or presentation (for example, onset of symptoms in adulthood) may require specific specialty expertise for diagnosis. There are no blood or laboratory tests needed for diagnosis, but neuroimaging studies, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), computerized tomography (CT), and electroencephalogram (EEG) scans, or certain blood tests may be used to rule out other conditions that might be confused with TS.
Patients usually obtain a formal diagnosis of TS only after symptoms have been present for some time. The reasons for this are many. For families and physicians unfamiliar with TS, mild and even moderate tic symptoms may be considered inconsequential, a part of a developmental phase, or the result of another condition. For example, parents may think that eye blinking is related to vision problems or that sniffing is related to seasonal allergies. Many patients are self-diagnosed after they, their parents, other relatives, or friends read or hear about TS from others.
This information is based on source information from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.Tourette syndrome (TS) is a diagnosis that doctors make after verifying that the patient has had both motor and vocal tics for at least one year. The existence of other neurological or psychiatric conditions like childhood-onset involuntary movement... More
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital answered:
Only a doctor can diagnose tic disorders and Tourette's syndrome. Tourette syndrome (TS) usually appears between the ages of 5 and 18 with mild tics of the face, head, or arms. Over time, the tics can become more involved, frequent, and disruptive. In about a third of people diagnosed in childhood symptoms, the symptoms spontaneously resolve as they reach adulthood. In another a third of patients, symptoms are substantially reduced during adulthood; the remainder of patients have symptoms throughout adulthood. Patients with tic disorders frequently have associated psychiatric symptoms such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, attention deficit disorder, anxiety, and phobias.Only a doctor can diagnose tic disorders and Tourette's syndrome. Tourette syndrome (TS) usually appears between the ages of 5 and 18 with mild tics of the face, head, or arms. Over time, the tics can become more involved, frequent, and disruptive.... More
Physical and neurological assessment: The diagnosis of Tourette's syndrome (TS) is mainly based on a thorough clinical evaluation including a complete physical and neurological assessment. A careful patient and family history will also be taken. Neurological assessment may include testing to evaluate cognitive (brain thinking and memory) status, reflexes, balance, and movement, including evaluation of certain voluntary eye movements necessary in focusing on moving targets.
The diagnosis of TS is based upon a thorough clinical evaluation, observation, and assessment of characteristic symptoms and a careful patient and family history. There is no definitive diagnostic test for TS. However, certain blood tests, laboratory studies, or neuroimaging (imaging the nervous system including the brain and spinal cord) techniques may be conducted to eliminate related disorders with similar symptoms.
Genetic testing: Since TS has been found to be linked to genes, genetic testing may be used.
Neuroimaging techniques: Neuroimaging studies may include computerized tomography (CT) scanning, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), positron emission tomography (PET) scanning, and electroencephalography (EEG). These tests, however, are rarely needed in most patients with TS.
Evaluating children: Although some children are bothered little by tics, other children are greatly affected. To evaluate the effect tics have on a child's life, the doctor will often ask parents questions about areas of the child's life. The child may also need psychological testing and testing for learning problems. It can be difficult to diagnose Tourette's syndrome because tics (or symptoms that look like tics) can be caused by other related disorders such as ADHD. Tests that may be done to check for other conditions include an electroencephalogram (EEG) or computed tomography (CT) scan of the head to see if a person may have seizures or other brain problems. Blood tests may also be done to check for other conditions, including overuse of certain medications (such as amphetamines) or rare medical conditions, such as Wilson's disease (not being able to break down copper in the body).
You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.Physical and neurological assessment: The diagnosis of Tourette's syndrome (TS) is mainly based on a thorough clinical evaluation including a complete physical and neurological assessment. A careful patient and family history will also be taken.... More